Earlier this week, Tamron unveiled the 20-40mm f/2.8 Di III VXD lens for Sony E-mount cameras, an ultra-portable piece of equipment designed to satisfy still shooters and videographers alike.
Tamron notes that the 20-40mm f/2.8 “is [the] smallest and lightest in its class” and “can be easily carried around for everyday shooting.” According to the press release, it’s an “unparalleled” and “category-disrupting” option.
Tamron has a point: the 20-40mm f/2.8 is an unusual lens. The focal length stretches from an ultra-wide 20mm to a near-standard 40mm on full-frame cameras (mounted on a Sony APS-C model, the lens offers a 30-60mm equivalent focal length), perfect for a whole range of subjects. On the wide end, you can comfortably photograph (or film) sweeping landscapes, self-portraits, and architecture. And on the long end, you can shoot environmental portraits, street photos, and tighter scenics.
The focal-length range is also ideal for casual photographers who capture their kids and surroundings on a regular basis. Plus, thanks to the constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, you can create bright, detailed images even in low light – at night, for instance, or indoors.
But what makes the 20-40mm f/2.8 so impressive isn’t just the useful focal-length range or the wide maximum aperture; it’s that Tamron managed to pack these features into a lens that weighs only 12.9 oz (365 g) and extends just 3.4 in (8.65 cm).
Most full-frame wide-to-standard zooms – and especially those boasting a wide maximum aperture – are relatively heavy. Try to carry one around for hours on end, and it’ll start to feel uncomfortable. For example, consider the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8. It overlaps with much of the 20-40mm f/2.8’s zoom range, yet it weighs 24 oz (680 g), nearly twice that of the Tamron lens, and it’s over an inch longer.
The 20-40mm f/2.8 also boasts significant close-focusing capabilities; Tamron claims the lens can shoot at magnifications up to 0.26x, which comes in handy when photographing nature (e.g., flowers, tree bark, moss), details on the street, products, and even food. Plus, extra magnification is ideal for videographers and vloggers who like to tell stories via intimate details.
As for autofocusing capabilities and sharpness, while the 20-40mm f/2.8 isn’t available for testing, Tamron promises “high-level AF speed and precision” in addition to “high image quality.” I’ve been consistently impressed by Tamron’s Sony E-mount lenses, and I’m looking forward to yet another excellent product.
So who should consider purchasing the Tamron 20-40mm f/2.8 Di III VXD? Honestly, pretty much everyone. It’s a lens that can handle dozens of scenarios, including casual vlogging and casual photography; street, landscape, nature, and architectural photography; and much, much more.
Unfortunately, Tamron has not yet offered a lens release date and only notes that the launch is “planned in the fall” but that “due to the current global health crisis, the release date or product supply schedule could change.”
So check back in a month or two for updates. If you’re in dire need of new glass and you can’t wait for the Tamron 20-40mm f/2.8 to debut, consider peeking at our most popular lenses rundown.
Now over to you:
Are you excited about the Tamron 20-40mm f/2.8? Will you consider buying it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!